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Atlanta Braves news and links: The final week is here

After an extremely long 2015 season, we've finally reached the end. There are only six games left for the Braves, and they only need to win one to avoid a 100-loss season.

Rob Foldy/Getty Images


Braves finish road season in typical fashion; Get swept by Marlins

Good news, everyone: The Braves have no more road games to play this season! The bad news is that the Braves just completed one of the worst road seasons in franchise history, and they completed it with a 9-5 loss to the Marlins, which gave the Marlins a sweep. Shelby Miller wasn't at his best in this game, and his amazingly long streak without recording a win will continue into the final week of the regular season. Again, the good news is that the Braves will finish the rest of this season at home. Thank goodness.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The <a href="">#Braves</a> finished with a .309 road winning pct. -- sixth-lowest in franchise history, lowest since 1977 (.259).</p>&mdash; Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) <a href="">September 28, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Olivera set to be full-time starter in 2016

For those of you who are worried that the Braves were going to continue treating Hector Olivera with kid gloves heading into next season, don't be. Although the team has been playing Olivera on a "matchup basis" so far this season, Fredi Gonzalez made it clear that the Braves expect Olivera to be the full-time starter in 2016 and beyond, so there's that.

Freeman is day-to-day with wrist ailment

The wrist injury that's been bothering Freddie Freeman for most of the second half of this season will end up dogging him until the end of the season as well. Honestly, I'm amazed that he's tried to play through the injury considering that the season is lost, but I guess that shows you just how much Freeman wants to play. Anyways, he's visiting a specialist to see about his wrist, and he's currently listed as "day-to-day."

McKirahan has had a rough rookie season

After losing most of his rookie season due to suspension, Andrew McKirahan has had a bit of a rough go of it since being activated. Although he's been impressive when it comes to velocity, that's really been the only positive for McKirahan, and he'll probably need to put in a lot of work in order to improve going into next season.

Vizcaino’s return has been a resounding success. The right-hander with the 98-99 mph fasatball moved into the closer role after Jason Grilli got hurt and Jim Johnson was traded, and entering Sunday Vizcaino had a 1.86 ERA and seven saves in 31 appearances, with 32 strikeouts and 12 walks in 29 innings.

The same can’t be said for McKirahan, 25, whose first season in the major leagues has been difficult, to put it mildly.

He had a 5.93 ERA in 27 appearances before Sunday, with 10 walks and 22 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings. His ERA was third-highest among National League relievers with at least 25 innings pitched before Sunday, better than only teammate Sugar Ray Marimon (7.36 ERA in 25 2/3 innings) and Colorado’s Rafael Betancourt (6.18 ERA in 39 1/3 innings).


Live on pay-per-view: Bryce Harper vs Jonathan Papelbon

The Washington Nationals have had an extremely disappointing season after once again being anointed as World Series favorites during the offseason. They officially capped off their downer of a season with an embarrassing dugout brawl between MVP candidate Bryce Harper and closer Jonathan Papelbon. Apparently, Papelbon wasn't impressed with Harper's effort on running out a ground ball. The two men exchanged words, and then they exchanged physicality. Amazingly, Papelbon went out to pitch the next frame, and promptly gave up the go-ahead homer to the Phillies. There's plenty of coverage on this story, but this passage from over at MLB Daily Dish probably sums it up perfectly.

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Jake Arrieta dominates Pirates in potential NL Wild Card preview

One thing's for sure: Whoever ends up facing the Cubs in the NL Wild Card game, whether it be the Pirates or the Cardinals (and this is still possible since the Cardinals have somehow let the Pirates into the NL Central race with only a week left to go), they probably want absolutely no part of Jake Arrieta. Arrieta pitched an absolute gem on Sunday night against the Pirates, as he went through six innings with a perfect game intact before leaving in the seventh inning with only one hit given up. He also hit an opposite-field homer in the second inning of this game, which helped his own cause in a 4-0 win over Pittsburgh. Simply put, if the Cubs can get past the Wild Card game, Arrieta's going to be an extremely valuable weapon for Chicago.

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